Books For 1 year Old

What to Expect when Reading to your 1 Year Old

Depending on your one year old's attitude towards reading, it can be a naturally rewarding experience OR a 'tear-your-hair out' challenge. 

Which is completely to be expected - after all like we always say at The Best Baby Care Tips team - life would be boring if not for a bit of diversity. 

Fortunately, by preparing yourself for what to expect when reading to your one year old, you can get ahead and anticipate any bumps along the road. 

Books For 1 year Old

Set Them up for Success

Reading to your little one from an early age helps to develop wonderful habits that your little one will hopefully bring with them well into their adult life.  The love of reading and wanting to learn is something that can be easily instilled from a young age. 

Before you know it, you will have collected a little library for your child to grow up with and rather than reaching for a tablet or phone or sitting in front of the television, they will prefer to reach for a book and sit on a beanbag or lounge. 

Benefits of Reading Books For 1 year Old

We have already mentioned some benefits of reading to your kids, such as creating a life - long healthy relationship with books and a preference to read a good book instead of being glued to a screen.

Some other benefits you can expect your baby to receive from reading to them:

Bedtime Stories for Babies

Bedtime can be a great way to introduce reading and story time to babies. It is a natural way and great way for your baby to drift off and fall asleep.

There is however, a few considerations to make when considering books for bedtime.  Things like choosing a book that doesn't excite or stimulate your little one too much (we are after all trying to get them to sleep).  Fortunately, we have just the guide on the best books for bedtime stories, and we encourage you to check it out.   

Buyers Guide for What to Consider When Buying Books for 1 Year Old

Engagement

When you are reading to your bubs, one of the best ways for choosing the right book is selecting a topic that interests them. You will know they like the subject matter when they are completely engaged with the book.  

We recommend beginning with the classic books with lots of colors and pictures that will capture their attention. 

If you find they are not engaging with the books, you can slowly begin introducing them to new topics like dinosaurs or animals, cars or even comic books. The point is that you want them to engage with you and the book and the fact that you are reading is the main thing. 

Interactivity

Some of the best books we have found to help engagement with your little one are books that involve interaction with your baby. This could mean that there are pop ups that involve the movement of specific pictures on each page.  Or the books may include different types of materials that feel different or create scrunching sounds.  

Sometimes a book that strays from the standard words and pictures on the page can help to really engage your bubs. 

Rhyming

Another was to get your precious one to love reading is choosing books that rhyme and can almost be read in a sing - song fashion. Many books For 1 year old babies involve rhymes that help to engage your bub's listening skills. It is a great moment to witness when you realize your baby understands that the words in the book are interconnected somehow.

Singing your books to a child can also help to engage them, when they are otherwise preoccupied with other things around them. 

Final Verdict on Reading Books For 1 Year Old

In conclusion, reading to your 1 year old has many benefits that will, if done correctly, will set them up with wonderful habits in their life. It can help to seed your child with their love of learning, and importantly help to get them away from those addictive screens on tablets, phones and the TV.

Choosing the right books for your 1 year old is important and something that is within your power to control. By following our guidelines and recommendations in our article, you will be on your way to engaging your little one in story time and helping to develop them little minds onto bigger and greater things. 

Let us know your favorite books in the comments below so we can add them to our list for other parents to enjoy. 

3 Baby Announcement Ideas

Welcome Your Baby With Style - Our Favorite 3 Baby Announcement Ideas

Congratulations! Your little beauty has arrived and, of course, you want to tell the world. Well, at least the friends and family that really matter. But no judgment here if you want to shout about your miracle from the rooftops, too, because this is huge!

As this is one of the most significant moments in your life, you’ll want to make the announcement in a particularly cute and clever way. Here are some of our favorites.

Baby Announcement Ideas

Go Spunky!

The Mommy and Me shirts at the Spunky Stork are so adorable, you’ll have a hard time picking just one set. You might just have to do a full-blown photoshoot and send out a collage of the best results. Some of them could also be worn by Dad, too. There’s no reason he can’t get in on this, too, if he’d like to be in the picture.

At Spunky Stork, you can get matching shirts for Mom and Dad, and then a super-cute onesie that goes with the theme of your announcement.

For instance, I’d love to see both parents wearing the “And I think to myself’ shirts, with Baby in a onesie that reads “What a wonderful world” bodysuit. 

Take a picture of you cuddled up together and send your announcements out to the world.

If this child is a rainbow baby, the Fairytale collection is lovely. The adult tee reads, “Once Upon a Time,” with the onesie featuring, “Happily Ever After.” 

Birth Announcement Signs

Another option is these lovely, wooden birth announcement signs from Sandstone Avenue. Take your pick of ones that just highlight the name, or ones that do so with a cute saying, or others that declare the height and weight.

What I love about these signs is that they make a lovely memento. They can be hung on your baby’s nursery door or placed in their room as a decoration. Eventually, you could even glue them to the cover of a photo album.

Strike a Pose

Since Anne Geddes started shooting photos of children dressed in garden-type themes, we’ve seen a lot of infants dressed as fruit, ladybugs, a pea in a pod, and other magical, naturesque costumes or environments. Ms. Geddes’ pictures were hugely popular, and they still influence baby photoshoots today.

(Despite knowing the facts of life when we grow up, perhaps there is a part of us that still likes the “we found him under a cabbage in the garden” myth.)

Let your creativity take over. You can base your photo on Anne Geddes’ style, or come up with your own ideas.

How good are your photoshop skills? Perhaps you could place your child in a favorite Impressionist painting--or perhaps any painting that's baby appropriate. Or you could also base your photoshop efforts on your little one’s expression. 

For instance, if your child is beaming, perhaps go for a sunshine--or son shine--theme. 

Have fun, but don’t exhaust yourself too much. Remember, you’re already going on without sufficient sleep. It’s a new parent thing.

Whatever way you choose to announce your baby’s birth, I’m sure it will be fabulous. And once again, congratulations! Wishing you the best of happiness with your new lovely child.

Finger Toothbrush for Babies

Finger Toothbrush for Babies - A Run Down

Finger Toothbrush for Babies

Tooth brushing is one of the most important things that you can do to keep your teeth healthy. It’s also a great way to get kids involved in their own oral hygiene routine, which will help them develop good habits as they grow up. The best finger tooth brushes are designed specifically with babies in mind. They have soft bristles so there won't be any pain or discomfort when using it on baby's gums and mouth.

What is a Finger Toothbrush

A baby finger tooth brush is a must - have baby accessory for cleaning baby teeth.

It is a small, soft rubber brush with tiny bristles that you can use to clean your child’s teeth. It is called a "finger" tooth brush because you simply slip the rubber toothbrush over your index finger to maneuver around your baby's teeth and gums. 

The baby finger toothbrush is used in the same way a regular toothbrush is, but it is smaller and easier to handle. It also comes in many colors, which makes brushing fun for kids. 

A top tip from the Best Baby Care Tips team is to make sure you brush your baby's teeth long enough. You can make it a fun game by playing a short song or nursery rhyme that creates an atmosphere of fun and games.

Are Finger Toothbrushes Safe? 

There are no known health risks associated with using a finger toothbrush for babies. The main concerns you would want to address would be that since this baby accessory is going into your baby's mouth, you want to ensure it is made from non-toxic materials (that are BPA-free). 

It is also important to ensure that the finger toothbrush fits very snugly around your finger.  This is to prevent any choking hazards or accidents from occurring while you are brushing and tending to your baby's dental hygiene. 

If, however, you choose not to use a finger toothbrush, then you should still make sure you are keeping up with your baby's dental hygiene.  You can find our recommended baby oral practices in our Guide to Health Oral Hygiene Routines for your Baby.  

When to Start Brushing Your Baby's Teeth and Gums

You may start introducing your baby to tooth brushing once he/she has reached 6 months old. However, if you notice signs of teething such as drooling, chewing on his fingers, or fussiness during mealtime, then you might consider starting earlier than six months.

Most parents usually begin brushing their infant's teeth at about 3 months old. At first, most babies only need one session per day. As your baby grows older, you can gradually increase the number of times you brush him/her each week until eventually you reach twice daily sessions.

However, some experts say that even though more frequent brushing helps remove plaque buildup faster, less frequent brushing does not necessarily mean better results. We advise against skipping out on brushing altogether unless your doctor advises otherwise.

Buyers Guide - How to Choose a Good Baby Finger Brush

When it comes to choosing a toothbrush, you will find that there are many options available. With so many choices in front of you, it can be difficult to decide which toothbrush is best for your baby. It’s important to find a toothbrush that is safe and gentle on the gums.

Here are some key things to keep in mind when choosing your baby’s first toothbrush.

Materials

Given this baby accessory is going into your baby's mouth on a daily basis, it is important to ensure that the materials the finger brush is made out of is safe and non-toxic. 

Most of the reputable companies will have to follow the safety guidelines for baby products, so the main thing is to do your research on the independent (lesser known) brands.  Don't get us wrong, we love independent businesses - they innovate and are often more conscious of their impact on the body and the world.  We are simply suggesting with any products you place inside your baby's mouth, try to stick to ones that are clearly marked as BPA-free and have little to no toxins . 

Comfort and Size

You have to remember, your baby only has a small mouth. So having a sausage sized finger with weird bristles in their mouth is going to be a pleasant experience - at least for the first time. 

So, when you are looking at purchasing a finger toothbrush for babies, go for one that is slimline, and doesn't have too many weird protrusions coming out from the device. 

No additional Bells and Whistles 

You will find opting for a finger toothbrush that is simple in nature and functionality is often the best choice. Something that has a clear purpose and gets the job done. 

It may be tempting to go for ones that have additional features like flavoring or extra shapes and molds for comfort or gum massaging.  However, in our experience, these often deter babies and cause more issues rather than help. 

Final Verdict for the Best Finger Toothbrush for Babies

Brushing your baby's teeth doesn't have to be an ordeal, or chore for that matter. With the right equipment and a bit of knowledge of the techniques, you will soon be well on your way to establishing good dental hygiene practices for your little one. 

If purchasing a finger toothbrush for your baby seems daunting, following our buyers guide for the features to look for will help you navigate the overwhelming number of baby accessories available on the market. 

If you are looking for a quick and easy solution, check out our favorite finger toothbrushes for babies at the top of this article.  You can be confident you will be purchasing the peer reviewed and recommended baby toothbrushes by other parents that have walked in your shoes. 

Let us know which finger toothbrushes worked for you and your precious one in the comments below. 

Babies Who Fight Sleep

Why Do Babies Fight Sleep? Tips on how to Stop Your Baby Fighting Sleep

It is well known that if your baby is a good sleeper, parenting can be a walk in the park.  You are refreshed and alert.  Baby is not tired and grumpy. Everything in the world is good.

BUT, if your baby isn't a good sleeper, parenting can be an uphill battle. Even the smallest tasks can be a challenge. Believe me, my two girls were not good sleepers and I have experienced many moments where I would ask myself "Who do I have babies who fight sleep?".  Even the slightest noise would startle them awake. Then it would be an ordeal trying to get them back to sleep.  It's almost as if they were angry at me for trying to get them back to sleep.  Yet, ironically, it was the one thing we both wanted!

There are many reasons why babies appear to be fighting sleep.  And I found with a bit of understanding and taking the time to look at it from a baby's perspective, there were a few things I can do to put the odds in my favor for getting the little ones to sleep without a big fight. 

This article is intended to help parents understand why do babies fight sleep. It is from this understanding where you will be able to pick up some tips on setting yourself up for success in achieving a good night's rest for YOU AND YOUR BABY. 

Babies Fighting Sleep - Why Does it Happen?

Before we get into the tips for getting your baby to sleep, we at the Best Baby Care Tips, find it helps to first gain an understanding of the causes and reasons for why your baby is fighting sleep.  In this section we are going to check out the most common reasons for why babies fight sleep

Babies who fight sleep

Overtired

This is probably one of the main causes when it comes to babies fighting sleep. 

Generally, over tiredness in babies occurs when they have been put down after their regular bedtime.  When your baby is overtired you will often find they resort to tantrums quickly and settling them is a challenge. Even just putting them into their cot or crib will bring them to tears.

Overstimulation (aka undertired)

Another common cause for babies who fight sleep is because they can be overstimulated or not tired enough.  This can be as a result of the activities that directly preceded the bedtime routine.  Or even if you are putting them down too early. 

Another possible reason for over stimulation is that your baby's room is too bright or interesting. I found that during daylight savings, when the evening light lasted longer, my little girl would struggle to fall asleep and become irritable. I was stuck asking myself "Why does my baby fight sleep?". After a bit of trial and error, I eventually discovered that the light seeping through the window blinds were stimulating her visual senses, allowing her to see more things in the room.  

Separation Anxiety

This is a common cause for a baby's inability to sleep. Or at least - it is a common conclusion many parents make when they are having trouble with their baby fighting sleep. 

More often than not, the baby may be reacting to the parents own separation anxiety and feeding off the anxious environment you may be (unconsciously) creating. 

I admit, I am guilty of this very issue.  It was my own anxieties of separation from my little ones, that made it difficult for them to sleep. My constant need to check in on them more than likely disturbed their sleep and caused them to wake. In addition, my impulse that I had to be in the room to get them to sleep probably delayed their ability to self-soothe themselves, and again fight the sleep that they so desperately wanted. 

Hungry/Too Full

Babies Who Fight Sleep

Another issue I found that led to my girls fighting sleep as babies, was when they were uncomfortable.  This could be as a result from being too hungry or on the other end of the spectrum, when they are too full. 

I mention this as a cause for the benefit of parents who are still trying to find their feet in terms of a good routine for their little one. I found when my baby had a well functioning digestive system (such as regularly having soiled diapers), they were easier to get to sleep - and keep asleep. 

Babies Who Fight Sleep Could be Developing

Once you take a (tired) step back and look at what your baby is trying to achieve in a short space of time, you can begin to appreciate that their bodies are going through immense change. 

From developing muscles, growing bones and teeth - their bodies are constantly changing and adapting to their environment. 

Therefore, once you start to understand and accept that your baby is always going to be changing (especially in the first few years), then you can begin to practice a bit more patience that they may be finding it a bit difficult to fall asleep this night (and sometimes the next few consecutive nights). 

How to Get Your Baby to Stop Fighting Sleep - Parenting Tips

The first thing you need to know is that babies fight sleep because they are tired. They have been awake for a long time, so when their parents put them down in bed at night, they want to stay up! This can be very frustrating for the parent who wants his or her child to go to sleep on command. The good news is that there are ways to help your little one fall asleep faster and more easily than ever before. 

Babies Who Fight Sleep

Routine

One of the best tips for achieving consistent sleep patterns is establishing a routine for your little one. Routine allows your baby to feel comfortable with their surroundings and the events of the day. They become accustomed to the activities and the security of knowing what to expect next. 

Forming a good bedtime routine is also a great way to signal to your little one that they should begin to wind down and prepare for sleep. This can be particularly effective for newborns when you include a warm bath close to their bedtime.  The bath replicates the secure feeling that they experienced in the womb, and therefore gives them comfort and warmth. 

Diaper Investigation

This may sound strange, however here me out.  If you haven't already connected the dots, this tip is closely related to the hungry or too full cause for a baby fighting sleep.  There is a treasure trove of information in your baby's diaper. Knowing what comes out of your baby is the best indication of what is going on inside of them.

For example, if they have not had a soiled (pooey) diaper for a while, a reason for them fighting sleep could be because they are uncomfortable while lying down.  On the other hand, if they are not having frequent wet nappies, they could be dehydrated.  Believe me when I say, I learnt a lot from my baby's dirty diapers! 

Understanding and Patience

Okay, you may be saying this is easier said than done, but I firmly believe when a parent comes to terms that they have a baby that is always changing and evolving, they have a mindset shift. A parenting epiphany of sorts. 

As we mentioned earlier, your baby is doing a lot of growing.  Understandably, this can cause discomfort and change.  It will often disrupt a routine that you had going for a few weeks in a row.  It will make your baby seem unreasonable.  What they once enjoyed last week, will now irritate and upset them.  

The sooner you can accept this fact and practice patience, the sooner you will gain an appreciation for what your baby is experiencing.  Rather than viewing their 'fighting sleep' as an inconvenience, you can take a step back and try to look at it from a difference angle = one that is more productive in reaching a sleepy outcome. 

Key Takeaways from Babies Who Fight Sleep

Sleep is important.  Parents and babies that receive a restful night's sleep are much more calm and rational. 

However, parenting isn't always that easy.  There will be terrible nights.  Sleepless nights.  There are many causes for why your baby will fight sleep. In the moment, it may be hard to see what rational reason could cause this, however if you take some time to read up and research the possible causes identified in this article, you can begin to understand how to tackle the sleep issue. 

Let us know what has worked for you for helping your baby stop fighting sleep in the comments below. 

Best Baby Swing for Small Spaces

What are the benefits of Baby Swings

Regular readers of our website will know we are huge fans of any toys or products that offer any level of versatility. And the best baby swings do just that!

We have already touched on a few benefits a baby swing can bring to your household. A well-designed and compact designed baby swing will provide you and your baby with hours of entertainment. Not only does a baby swing provide support for your little one so that they can be positioned in an upright posture, it also allows you to engage with your little one in a completely new way. 

In addition to allowing your baby see the world from a new perspective (can you imagine staring at the ceiling for 12 hours a day!), it also gives them an opportunity to build up their core muscles. By supporting your little one in an upright position, they will begin to exercise their neck and torso muscles. All the muscles necessary for helping them progress onto the next stage of development - gross motor skills. 

Placing your baby into a baby swing can also give you some much needed 'me' time.  Many baby swings offer safety features that give you the confidence that your baby is secure and safe for a period of time. Even the shortest timeframe can give you the opportunity to jump onto those dirty dishes that have been soaking or even just to catch up on the latest news on tv. 

Are Baby Swings Safe to Use? 

This is a question many parents ask themselves, and it is for good reason - it is important.

The short answer is yes, but with some precautions.

When it comes to your baby's safety, we believe every parent should be aware of the risks they are exposing their baby to. In relation to baby swings, they have many safety features built in to ensure your baby is safe and comfortable. 

However, as is the case in a lot of instances, ultimate safety comes down to parents knowing how to use the accessories properly.  Here are a few tips we think every parent considering a baby swing should know:

Features to Consider for Best Compact Baby Swing

The best baby swing is a great way to keep your little one entertained and comfortable while you are at home or out socializing with your friends and their babies. There are many types of swings available, which makes it understandable that making a decision can be overwhelming for some parents.

To help, we have compiled a complete buyers guide that will step you through the different features that you should consider before committing to any one swing. 

Safety Features

Okay, so we know we may sound like a broken record here, but safety is important.  For the sake of those that have already read the preceding sections of this article we won't repeat why safety is important.  Any readers that started with our Buyers Guide, we would encourage you to review the above sections on the "Are baby swings safe?". 

In terms of what to look for, the best baby swings will have the following safety features:

  1. Safety Harness Straps to secure your baby in the elevated swing.  This feature is a must-have.  Babies will be babies.  They are ever curious and always looking to push the boundaries. They will want to see if they can climb out of the swing - and if you are not there to prevent them the straps will be your back up. 
  2. Adjustable features are also important to ensure your baby fits into the swing properly and comfortably. Not all babies are the same height, weight and build.  Therefore, it is important to choose a baby swing that give you the ability to work around your baby's needs. 
  3. Reputable Company - this one isn't as obvious for some parents, especially since there are so many companies and products being made available each and every month. We prefer sourcing our toys and accessories from brands that have a good reputation. Do a bit of research and see if the company has made any recalls of their products.  Check reviews from other parents and always ensure the company takes responsibility for their products - good or bad.  

Baby Wellness

Baby swings are evolving quickly to include a raft of features that help to entertain and sooth your baby. Which features you prefer and choose will be largely dependent on your personal preference. In no particular order, here are some of the features we love to look for:

Final Verdict

Baby swings are a fantastic addition to any home.  They provide comfort, security and entertainment for your baby.  There are many benefits that a baby swing can provide, such as stimulation for your little one, or even soothing them into a more manageable state. 

We understand some parents may have concerns about the safety of their little one in a baby swing, which is why we encourage them to educate themselves about the proper use of baby swings in our safety features portion of the article. 

By choosing one of our recommended small baby swings, you can be confident you won't be disappointed with the hours of entertainment and free time you will gain with your baby. Let us know which baby swing for small spaces helped you in your parenting journey. 

Small Baby Walker

Buyers Guide to Finding the Best Small Baby Walkers

The best baby walker for your child is one that fits their needs and helps them develop safely. The right small baby walker can help you get through those first few months when it’s hard to keep up with a baby that just wants to keep moving. 

But there are so many types available on the market today! Here we will go over some things to consider before buying a new baby walker.

Space Saving Features

One of the biggest concerns when you are looking for a small baby walker to use within a limited area are the space-saving features.  We recommend looking for baby walkers that are foldable or can be disassembled easily to help with storage and transportation.

Foldable small baby walkers offer the convenience of allowing your baby to learn to walk and build the necessary muscles for their gross motor skills. But at the same time, when the walker is not in use, you have the ability to stow it away, out of the way, so you can free up some much-needed space. 

Buying a small baby walker with space-saving features also offers the advantage of being able to travel with the accessory. This is great for keeping your little one entertained or even including the walker as a tag along to grandma and grandpa's house for an overnight stay.

Versatility Features

At Best Baby Care Tips, we are huge advocates for any toys or accessories that are versatile and can be used for a range of purposes.

When it comes to baby walkers we love looking for walkers that can be adjusted as your baby grows and develops.  Adjustable settings such as height make baby walkers ideal for allowing your baby to learn and grow at a pace they are comfortable with.  

Some baby walkers can also change their design to match the speed at which your baby wants to move. at.  This is especially important because changing the walker's design shifts the center of gravity and stability of the toy. Which develops different muscles and skills of your baby.  

It also means the baby walker will be used many times over during the first year(s) of your baby's life. 

Small Baby Walker

Cleanable and Low Maintenance

As most parents will know (or will eventually learn), once a baby comes into your life, cleaning becomes a big part of your day.  So anything that we can do to minimize or make the process of cleaning easier, we welcome with open arms. This principle applies to all the toys and accessories that inevitably build up. 

The best small baby walkers are ones that are designed with the parents in mind.  This includes making an accessory that is easily cleaned and maintained.  We recommend looking for walkers that includes detachable parts and removeable outer materials that are machine washable. 

It may not sound like a deal breaker, however when your precious little one inevitably 

Safety Features 

We think it goes without saying that in-built safety features in all accessories that are intended for baby use are a must. Not only does it show the companies have given their products a well thought out design, it also gives parents the peace of mind that their baby will be safe using the toys and accessories.

Here are the safety features we believe you should be looking for in your next baby walker:

Final Verdict on the Best Small Baby Walkers

Having a baby walker  to learn and develop with is a wonderful opportunity for any baby.  However, not everyone has the space nor the ability to house a bulky baby walker in their living areas.  Particularly those that live in apartments or units. 

Fortunately, baby companies have designed a range of small baby walkers just for this particular niche market. This means you don't have to deny your baby from any learning opportunities that they may have missed had they not grown up with a baby walker. 

We have provided a list of our favorite small baby walkers that are perfect for small space living. 

Let us know your favorite (or not so favorite) and experiences with baby walkers in the comments below.  

Baby Lounger

Baby Loungers - Are they Safe and What Not To Do?

You've just had your baby and you're getting settled into a new way of life. You're also probably wondering what kind of gear to get for your little one.

A baby lounger can be a great addition to your home if you want to keep your little one close by while you work on chores or shower.

However, there are some very important facts about Baby Loungers that you should be aware of before making your decision as to whether you want to include one in your home. 

In this article we are going to explore everything you need to know about baby loungers,  We will look at both sides of the coin - the benefits and cautions we believe every parent should know. 

What are Baby Loungers?

Baby lounges can be a confusing term for many parents.  Many refer to baby swings or baby carriers as a baby lounger.  However, in the context of this article we have a specific definition for what a baby lounger consists of. 

For the purposes of this article we refer to a baby lounger as a baby product that consists of soft cushion material that is designed to comfortably house your little one.  If you think of a portable baby sized day bed, you will begin to understand the design of a Baby Lounger. They usually have belts that can be used to strap and secure your baby into the lounger, which is there for the parent's peace of mind to prevent accidents and rolling. 

The materials that Baby Loungers are made from are generally fire retardant and breathable.  This is both for your baby's comfort and safety.  The breathable material allows for air to circulate through the material to ward off sweat and over heating of your bubs.  The permeable materials are also there to prevent any breathing hazards that may arise when your baby presses their face against the side cushions. 

Here are some examples of some baby loungers:

 

What is a Baby Lounger Used For?

The baby loungers are used to provide comfort and relaxation for the babies. The best baby lounges have soft cushions that can be adjusted according to your child’s size, shape or weight. They also come with an adjustable backrest, so you can adjust it as per your need. These chairs will help in providing support while sitting on them. You can use these lounge chair for both indoor and outdoor purposes.

Benefits of Baby Lounges

Cautionary Measures for Baby Loungers and FAQ's

As blissful as baby loungers may sound, there are some words of warning that every parent should heed when considering purchasing one for their home.  In this section of the article, we are going to highlight the issues surrounding baby loungers.

Are Baby Loungers Safe?

Baby lounges are designed with safety in mind. They provide an excellent place for babies and toddlers to relax, play or nap while you’re at home doing chores around the house. The loungers come equipped with features that make them safe for your baby. 

Having said that, it is important to note that these products are not included in any of the regulated groups of baby products.  This means they have not been vetted by the appropriate authorities that govern the safety of baby products. The AAP always advise putting babies to sleep on their backs on a firm surface such as a crib or cot. It is for this reason, we believe a baby lounger has its place within a parent's routine, but should not be used for the longer nighttime sleeps - you will find out more below.  

Can my Baby Sleep in a Baby Lounger

Yes! Babies love sleeping inside the lounger because it provides warmth and safety. We do, however, recommend they only use it for naps and a baby lounger is not used for their main sleep throughout the night.  We do still prefer a cot or crib for the longer sleeps as this will become important for their development later on.  Also note if your baby suffers from colic, it is advisable to avoid placing him in the lounger during his first few months of life.

How Long Can My Baby Use the Lounger?

The easy answer to this question is if your bubs still fits in the baby lounger and still finds it comfortable, then you can continue to use it to provide a sense of security and comfort. 

 Do I need a Baby Lounger?

The answer to this question is always going to be situation dependent.  If you travel around a lot, as we have discussed earlier, a baby lounger can be a fantastic solution to help your baby adjust to new and unfamiliar places. 

Key Takeaways for Baby Loungers - Everything You Need to Know

The best baby lounges are designed with safety in mind, and they have a variety of features that will make your life easier. They come equipped with soft pads or pillows, so you can lay down on them without worrying about hurting themselves if your baby falls off.

There are however some considerations to make when thinking about including a baby lounger in your household. This includes HOW and WHEN you are planning on using the loungers. 

When used properly, these wonderful contraptions can be a godsend - let us know how baby loungers have helped you in your parenting journey in the comments below.  

When Should I Start Brushing My Baby's Teeth

Baby's Teeth and Gums - Your Guide to a Health Oral Hygiene Routine for your Baby 

There are many opinions on when you should begin introducing toothbrushes into your child’s oral care routine. Some experts recommend starting around the 6-month mark, others suggest waiting until they are eating solid foods. And still other dentists believe that it doesn't matter how early or late in life we introduce our children to dental hygiene practices; all babies need regular cleaning just like adults do!

In this article we are going to explore your options when it comes to your baby's dental hygiene.  We will provide you with a tip sheet or guide to use as a quick reference guide for the do's and do not's of your baby's oral health care.  

When Should You Start Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth? Everything You Need to Know

When Should I Start Brushing My Baby's Teeth

The first thing you need to know about when to start a child brushing your baby's teeth, is that there isn't one right time for this. The best way to approach it is with an open mind and some patience. Just because some moms have started brushing their baby's teeth in your social group, doesn't mean you should feel pressured to do the same. 

Brushing your baby's teeth may seem like a simple task but actually starting children off on good oral hygiene habits can be quite difficult. In fact, many parents find themselves wondering how long they should wait before introducing their kids to toothpaste or even giving them their own toothbrush.

We explore this very question in the following sections.  

When Should I Start Brushing My Baby's Teeth?

Okay - let's get right to it.  When should you start brushing your baby's teeth. 

The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that parents begin tooth brushing their babies at 6 months old, and continue until they are 2 years old or older. The AAP also suggests using a soft-bristled brush with small rounded bristles for this purpose.

But what about when you're not sure if it's time yet? Or maybe you've already started but want more information on how often to do so?

A good rule of thumb is to monitor your baby's gums as they begin to teeth. You'll know this is happening when your little one can't stop putting things in their mouth to massage their itchy gums. They will also become quite irritable and can often be in tears for no apparent reason. 

Once you see those cute little pearly whites coming through, you can begin the dental hygiene routine with your baby. 

In our books, there is no time that is too early to begin brushing your baby's teeth, as you will understand in the next section. 

When do you start brushing your baby's gums? And why should you? 

Now that you have the tooth (or teeth) under control, let's now turn our attention to your baby's gums and the oral hygiene involved. 

[insert quote] - you can begin brushing your baby's gums from as early as three months

In fact, the oral hygiene care for your baby's gums can begin BEFORE your baby's first tooth arrives. From the age of three months, you can begin the process of massaging and wiping clean your baby's gums with a soft damp face cloth. And depending on your schedule, this can be performed as often as twice a day - once in the morning and in the evening. 

In addition, there are benefits to beginning this oral routine from an early age.  When it comes to giving your bubs a toothbrush, the task of looking after their own teeth is no different from any other. 

What is a good dental hygiene routine for babies?

Now that you are familiar with the general rules for brushing your little one's pearly whites, the next natural question is how often should you be cleaning their teeth and gums? 

Fortunately we have put together a general dental routine for you to use.  Of course, this routine is only a guideline, and you can feel free to modify it to suit your needs and time restrictions.  After all, as our favorite motto goes at the Best Baby Care Tips team - every baby is different. 

Here is our recommended dental hygiene habits from when your baby sprouts their first tooth:

when should i start brushing my baby's teeth

What Is The Best Toothbrush For Babies?

The best toothbrushes for babies are soft, gentle and have a rounded tip that won't scratch their gums or tongue. 

All electric toothbrushes should be avoided at all costs.  Even though manufacturers are making eletric toothbrushes for babies and children, they should be avoided with caution.  The vigorous brushing action can potentially hurt and damage your baby's gums and soft teeth. 

Can babies use fluoride toothpaste?

Fluoride toothpaste has been shown to reduce cavities, a problem seen especially in children. However, infants at the age of 6 months or younger should not use fluoride toothpaste because they lack the swallowing reflex and have a different flavor profile than adults. Instead, it is recommended that they use non-fluoride toothpaste that contains 1% of the active ingredient sodium fluoride. Older babies who are able to swallow may still need supervision while brushing their teeth so they don’t swallow any toothpaste.

Key Takeaways from "When Should I Start Brushing my Baby's Teeth?"

Oral health starts in infancy - well before your baby's first tooth appears. Baby teeth are important because they are the first set of teeth your child will have, and these teeth support healthy development of permanent teeth.

The best time to start brushing your infant’s teeth is when the first tooth shows up. You’ll want to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and some water to begin.

To help you along your baby's oral health journey we have provided a visual guide  as a useful reference for the first year of your baby's dental hygiene routine. 

Let us know what problems you have encountered with your baby's teeth and we'll try to help you resolve the issues with the collective wisdom of our Best Baby Care community. 

Gross Motor Activities for Infants

How to Improve and Develop Your Baby's Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills are a fundamental part of a baby's development. In fact, did you know a baby will begin learning gross motor skills, such as kicking, while they are still in the womb.  

Gross motor skills are the foundational skills that a child requires to build more advanced and complicated skills later in their life.  It is this reason that we encourage parents to educate themselves about gross motor skill activities for infants. By helping your baby's development you can ensure they will grow into a independent and rounded individual. 

In this article we are going to cover a step-by-step Gross Motor Activity plan for the first year of your baby's life. We will also provide detailed instructions of how to encourage your baby to learn the activities. 

However before we get into the activities, for those that are just beginning to learn about motor activities, let's take a quick recap of what exactly they are and the role they play. 

What are Gross Motor Activities?

Gross Motor Activities is a term used to describe the physical activity that babies perform.

Gross Motor Activities for Infants

It includes things like crawling, walking and rolling around in their play area. As mentioned earlier, Gross Motor Activities can be performed by your child at any age, but it’s important to remember as your baby develops and gets older, they will use these skills to learn more complicated skills.  Therefore, it is important to help your child master the fundamental skills before moving on to more advanced gross motor skills.

If you want to learn more about Gross Motor Skills for infants, check out our other article where we take a deep dive into everything you need to know about Gross Motor Skills

Best Baby care tips

How Can I Help My Child Learn More About Their GMA’s?

We recommend starting off early, so your child has plenty of opportunities to learn new skills. You should also make sure you include some fun games during playtime too. These could involve throwing balls, climbing over obstacles or even playing hide-and-seek!

If you want to know what else you can do to help develop your baby’s gross motor skills then keep reading our guide below:

Rolling

One of the first main gross motor skills your little one will learn is to roll.  Babies can begin to roll anywhere between 3 months to 9 months. Helping your baby to learn to roll is a great way to kick off your baby's gross motor skills journey.  It allows them to gain more mobility and independence. 

One of the keys to helping your baby to roll is to engage them in the right activities like playing with toys on their side, lots of tummy time for muscle building, and also teaching them about shifting their weight to help them gain some momentum for a roll. 

We actually have a comprehensive guide to lending your baby a helping hand to learn how to roll - we recommend checking it out. 

Crawling

The next step towards developing good gross motor abilities is to teach your little one how to crawl.

To start off, find an appropriate place where there isn't much clutter or other hazards. Make sure it's safe before letting your baby try out their arms and legs.

When teaching him/her to crawl, put your hands under their knees and gently position your baby into the crawling position. This allows them to build up their strength and confidence in the crawling position. 

Once they have gained this new-found confidence, you will find it is only natural for them to start experimenting with the crawling position and move their legs back and forth.  As soon as he/she starts moving independently, stop assisting them to go further. Instead, let them explore on their own. 

Here is a great video by Nekole Amber showing the process of teaching your little one how to crawl:

Walking

Gross Motor Activities for Infants

Now that your baby is starting to gain more and more gross motor skills in their tool belt, it's time to introduce them to walking. Walking is one of those major milestones parents love to celebrate, and it is for this reason we recommend keeping your camera phone close by to capture the moment.

Walking can occur anytime after your baby has mastered the previous gross motor skill activities. However, generally speaking it can occur anytime between 8 – 20 months old. 

To help and encourage your baby to walk try placing a small toy between two chairs. Your baby should naturally want to pull themselves up onto the chairs to "furniture surf" around the chairs.  However, if they are more inclined to crawl, give them a hand in the right direction and help them up to the chair and support themselves by holding onto the chair. 

It is at this point that you can begin to encourage your baby to take their first steps.  Simply draw their attention to the toy and entice them to move toward the toy with movement in their feet.  You can even try shaking the toy to gain their confidence in moving. 

Another method for encouraging walking that worked for us is using play toys that your little one can shift along the floor.  We didn't intend for it, however our second daughter learned how to walk by pushing a Fisher Price Stand Up Activity Center along the floor. 

She just started shifting it to the places she wanted to go, and the fact that it didn't have wheels meant that it moved and supported her at just the right pace.  As is the case for everything in parenting - each baby develops in their own unique and wonderful way. 

Running

The next obvious gross motor acitivity that an infant will learn is running.  This being said, don't be discouraged or worried if your bubs doesn't pick this skill up until their second year. 

There isn't much you need to do here, since it is only natural for them to want to go faster once they have mastered their walking motor skill. 

The best thing to do is really help them walk properly, so when the time comes to run they have a good technique and can handle the new pace! 

Just a heads up - there will be many falls, bumps and bruises! But that is the best way for your little one to learn. 

Final Thoughts for Gross Motor Activities for Infants

You should keep in mind that babies are born with only 5 senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. That means you can’t expect your baby to learn anything new unless you provide exposure through these five senses. You have to be patient when introducing new skills to your baby so that she/he doesn’t become overwhelmed. If you follow the above tips, I am certain your child will grow into a healthy adult who has mastered many types of physical activity.